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Private Charity or Public Taxes?
Will the scalawags get rich and the poor remain
by Lyle Clapper (October 17, 2005)
(Note: Lyle is the CEO of Clapper Communications,
publisher of Crafts N Things and other industry-related magazines.
He virtually grew up in the industry – his parents launched the
company with the kids' craft magazine, Pack O Fun, more than 50
Does anyone ever think about numbers cited for government
expenditures? $250 billion for Katrina relief:
Assuming a million people were affected, that's $250,000 per
person (not families ... persons!) While I'm sure more than that
were affected, a small fraction suffered that kind of loss. So where
is the money going?
For the rest of the population, that's nearly $1,000 per person.
Of course not everyone pays taxes, so it's much more than that for
taxpayers. How 'bout thinking of it as $4,000 per family of four.
Where does this come from? The kids college fund?
I vote NO to tax supported relief. This is a job for charity ...
deductible charity. When tax dollars are used for charitable
purposes, scalawags get rich and the poor remain poor. No one is
entitled to someone else's money ... regardless of their misfortune.
When it's done with tax dollars, it's done largely at the expense of
the middle class.
I further vote YES to giving to the poor souls who have suffered
the wrath of Katrina. In November I'll be there with Habitat for
Humanity or another similar organization with a hammer and saw. I'll
be joined by others including contractors and well equipped experts
who want their efforts to be effective. I'll bring money to buy the
materials we need. I'll meet the people I'm helping and share the
experience with them. We'll all be richer.
Reminds me of a trip I took nearly four years ago to NYC [after
9/11] when we brought 170,000 angels to the people of New York from
crafters all over the world. The pols and troops showed their true
The pols were contemptible, seizing every opportunity to show
their sober face to the public (voters) and assure them that they
had everything they needed – "The situation was well under
The troops were beautiful, showing a side of New Yorkers I had
never seen. Every one was exhausted from the incredible effort
required, and wishing the pols would quit blocking the flow of badly
needed materials to them. Most of all, they were kind and loving and
expressed deep heartfelt appreciation for all the gifts we had
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